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Eisai Begins Free Supply of Diethylcarbamazine in Line With its Global Commitment to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis
Hatfield, England (ots/PRNewswire) - First shipment to benefit more than 6 million people in 4 endemic countries
Eisai announced today that it has begun the free supply of diethylcarbamazine citrate (DEC) 100 mg tablets produced at its Vizag Plant in India to the World Health Organization (WHO) in line with its commitment to help WHO in its global effort to eliminate lymphatic filariasis in targeted developing and emerging countries.
The Pacific island nations of Papua New Guinea, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Fiji have been confirmed as the first countries to receive the initial shipment. An estimated 6.25 million people living in at-risk communities will benefit from mass drug administration (MDA) programmes.
Eisai is an active partner and signatory to the London Declaration, a global public-private partnership that aims to eliminate ten neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including lymphatic filariasis, by 2020. As part of its commitment to this global initiative, Eisai has agreed to supply for free 2.2 billion DEC tablets to WHO for use in national MDA programmes.
Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a parasitic disease that is transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito. Once transmitted, it can cause lymphatic dysfunction and lead to serious manifestations such as lymphoedema, causing painful and disfiguring manifestations of the disease. Currently, an estimated 120 million people are already affected and more than 1.4 billion people worldwide are at risk of this disease.
DEC (one of the drugs used to treat lymphatic filariasis) is in short supply worldwide and is not easily accessible to at-risk populations in lymphatic filariasis-endemic countries. This poses a major obstacle for eliminating the disease. Having started the production of DEC at its Vizag Plant in India in August 2013, Eisai has now begun to provide a steady supply of DEC tablets over a seven-year period from 2013 to 2020 for distribution through WHO's MDA programmes to some 250 million people living in at-risk communities in 26 targeted countries.
Eisai believes that contributing to the improvement of global health and access to medicines in developing countries is a form of long-term investment that contributes to the economic growth of these countries. The company remains actively committed to addressing overall issues in global health, including NTDs, in order to further increase the benefits provided to patients and their families worldwide.
1. Bangladesh, Brazil, Comoros, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Fiji, French Polynesia, Gambia, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Lao PDR, Madagascar, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Nepal, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Notes to Editors:
About Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NTDs* blight the lives of more than 1 billion of the world's poorest 2.4 billion people. There are 149 countries and territories where NTDs are endemic, at least 100 of which are endemic for 2 or more of these diseases, and 30 countries and territories of which are endemic for 6 or more. These diseases not only survive and spread in conditions of poverty but also anchor large populations in poverty.
*NTDs designated by WHO for control or elimination: Buruli ulcer, Chagas disease, cysticercosis/taeniasis, dengue / severe dengue, dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease), echinococcosis, food-borne trematodiases, human African trypanosomiasis, the leishmaniases, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, rabies, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, trachoma, and yaws.
About Lymphatic Filariasis
Lymphatic filariasis is a parasitic disease that is transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito. Once transmitted, it can cause lymphatic dysfunction. While infection is usually acquired during childhood, symptoms often gradually appear over several years, with the most serious manifestations of the disease occurring in adulthood. One of the most serious manifestations, known as elephantiasis, is a permanent physical disability in which a patient's lower extremities swell to resemble those of an elephant. In addition to impacting on a patient's ability to perform everyday tasks, it historically has led to many patients falling victim to social persecution due to biases against the disease. As such, patients and their families may also suffer much emotional distress. Today, lymphatic filariasis affects an estimated 120 million people in 73 countries worldwide, most of whom live in developing and emerging countries in Africa, Southeast Asia and other tropical regions.
About the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
On January 30, 2012, the CEOs of 13 major global pharmaceutical companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.K. Department for International Development, the World Bank, and officials from NTD-endemic countries gathered in London to pledge their support for a coordinated effort to combat ten NTDs* by 2020. In signing the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases, each of the partner companies and organisations also pledged new levels of commitment to defeating these diseases.
The London Declaration represents the largest coordinated effort to date, and unlike past approaches undertaken by an individual organisation or for a single disease, the group has committed itself to working collaboratively in an effort to comprehensively tackle issues pertaining to drug supply, distribution, development, implementation programmes, and other areas as it seeks to more effectively combat NTDs.
*Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease), lymphatic filariasis, blinding trachoma, human African trypanosomiasis, leprosy, soil-transmitted helminthiases, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, Chagas disease, and visceral leishmaniasis.
About Eisai's Commitment to Improving Global Access to Medicines
Today, it is estimated that some 2.4 billion people around the world live on US$2 or less per day. Most of these 2.4 billion people do not have access to essential health care and treatment despite the availability of effective medicines. This is an international challenge that needs to be solved through collaborations among governments, international organisations such as the WHO, non-governmental organisations, and pharmaceutical companies.
In line with its human health care (hhc) mission, Eisai is committed to improving global access to medicines over the medium-to-long term through partnership strategies that involve working with governments, international organisations, private entities and non-profit organisations. Specifically, the company has developed and is implementing a five-target approach to improve access to medicines worldwide. The five key components are: product creations, strategic solutions, capacity building, quality innovation, and long-term investment.
For further information on Eisai's Access to Medicines initiatives, please visit the Access to Medicines page on the Eisai Global website: http://www.eisai.com/company/atm/index.html
Eisai is one of the world's leading research and development (R&D) based pharmaceutical companies and we define our corporate mission as "giving first thought to patients and their families and to increasing the benefits health care provides," which we call human health care (hhc).
Eisai concentrates its R&D activities in three key areas:
- Neuroscience, including: Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, pain and weight loss - Oncology including: anticancer therapies; tumour regression, tumour suppression, antibodies, etc. - Vascular/Immunological reaction including: thrombocytopenia, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease
With operations in the U.S., Asia, Europe and its domestic home market of Japan, Eisai employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. From its EMEA Knowledge Centre in Hatfield, UK, Eisai has recently expanded its business operations to include Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Oceania (EMEA). Eisai EMEA has sales and marketing operations in over 20 markets, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia and the Middle East.
For further information please visit our web site http://www.eisai.co.uk
1. WHO Preventive Chemotherapy and Transmission Control (PCT) Databank (as of 2012) http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/preventive_chemotherapy/lf/en/index.html [Last accessed October 2013] 2. WHO. Lymphatic filariasis Factsheet. March 2013. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs102/en/ [http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs102/en]# [Last accessed October 2013] 3. WHO. The 17 neglected tropical diseases. http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/diseases/en/ [http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/diseases/en] [Last accessed October 2013] 4. World Bank. Poverty Overview. http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview [Last accessed October 2013]
Date of preparation: October 2013
Job code: corporate-UK2019
Media Enquiries: Eisai Europe Ltd, Cressida Robson / Charlotte
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Reilly/Frances Murphy, +44(0)790-060-5652/+44(0)207-798-9900,